The Top 10 Unique & Free Stock Image Sites
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Images on ads, landing pages, and social media posts are incredibly important for the success of the campaign. But, most businesses don’t have the time or funds to take photos or hire a professional photographer to do so. Luckily, that’s where stock image sites come into play. Below is a list of the top 10 free stock image sites that you can use for your business.
Stock image sites allow people to download images, vectors, illustrations, and videos for commercial use. There are dozens of sites out there, but a lot of them have the same typical photos that are obviously stock images. It’s easy to waste hours browsing through multiple sites, only to settle on a semi-decent photo that you saw at the start of your search.
To help you with your quest for the perfect photo, we’ve compiled a list of the best and most diverse free stock image sites out there. Some of them have large libraries while others have extremely unique photos. Use this list and you will be sure to find the ideal photos for your marketing campaign.
Pexels is a great go-to site. It has an extensive library and incredible search tools. Not only can you find what you’re looking for by entering a keyword, but you can also browse through countless photo category pages, from neon lights to outer space to healthcare. There is even a tab that lets you search by the dominant color in the photo. The downside is that the secret is out on this site, so you might see images that you’ve seen elsewhere.
Pixabay is wonderful for photos, but its unique selling point is its collection of vectors, illustrations, and videos. The illustrations and vectors on Pixabay are high-quality, and you will see a broad range of styles. Find one that fits the style of your unique business. You can customize your search to include just photos or just vectors, which is very helpful. Its collection of free, 4k and HD videos is impressive as well.
The internet could always use a little more diversity — especially when it’s common to see the same 10 people in stock images. Nappy.co was created to provide high-resolution photos of black and brown people. It has an intuitive search and clean, easy-to-use interface. When you need some people in your post or landing page, consider grabbing a photo from Nappy.co.
Lots of these stock image sites claim to have unique and different images, but then you see the same photos on their platform as every other site. Reshot is one that lives up to its expectations for providing “handpicked, non-stocky images.” Many of the photos look so real that you feel like you saw them on your friend’s Instagram page earlier that day, while others are clearly professionally shot and beautiful. Reshot does not have the biggest library, but it is growing all the time.
Gratisography had to find a way to stand out from the pack, so it chose to chase after the quirkiest photos out there. Some of the photos are comically literal, and some are so confusing that you can’t help but stop and stare. They’re playful, relatable, and silly, and if that suits your business, this stock image site was made for you. There are some very creative, non-goofy photos to choose from, too.
Stocksnap.io is a fantastic stock image site that has a very large collection of high-quality photos. The images are diverse, and a lot of them don’t feel like the traditional stock image. But be warned — Stocksnap’s search is not the smartest. It will likely show you a lot of results that don’t relate to your keyword. But, it makes up for it with beautiful photos. It also has a feature that shows you the most popular and downloaded images on the site. Browse through the tab to find which ones everyone loves, or to know which ones to avoid so you can be different.
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Picjumbo made the list because it has such a wide collection of photos. You’ll be sure to find photos for even the most obscure keywords. Plus, the search engine shows you photos that actually fit what you’re looking for rather than a lot of photos that don’t resemble the keyword at all. When you view the search results, you can click on a photo to “see more images like this,” which is a really helpful tool. Picjumbo gives you the option to download all of the photos in a collection, too.
For some abstract and artsy stock photos, Kaboom Pics is choice. This stock photo site also has an extremely powerful search engine that allows users to sort by newest photos, most downloaded, and least downloaded photos. You can even choose between horizontal and vertical, as well as the leading color palette of the photo. Browse through photos and photoshoots to find the perfect pics for your landing page or social media post.
One of the downsides of always using stock footage is that it is hard to maintain a consistent style. Life of Pix is great because once you find a photographer’s style that you like, you can follow them and receive updates when they post new photos. The photographers on Life of Pix are talented, and the site has a modern feel that is interactive yet still easy to navigate. You can also customize the search to include photo orientation and dominant color.
Shopify realized that a lot of entrepreneurs were struggling to find stock photos that fit their needs. They created the stock photo site Burst to meet that need. Burst is meant to be used by entrepreneurs, so the types of photos available are different than most stock image sites. There are lots of images of small businesses in action, as well fantastic office photos.
Other popular free stock image sites include Unsplash, Picography, ISO Republic, and Freepik.